July 24, 2010 by staff
Well, maybe not right away anyway.
Hall did not move to the front of the pack to near the five mile mark of the annual race through the streets of Davenport, but once it did, it seemed that the other runners were running in quicksand.
Marathon star 27-year-old Mammoth Lakes, California, withdrew from the final two kilometers to claim the championship of the U.S. easily 7 miles and the first prize and accompanying 12,000.
“I went into it with an open mind,”said Hall, who ran the Bix for the first time.” I did not know what to expect. He was running well within myself and it just worked out.”
Hall, who has emerged as the leading American marathoner of the last decade, is the first native-born American man in 19 years to win the Bix 7. A few other riders who are U.S. citizens have gained since then – including Meb Keflezighi last year – but nobody who was born in this country has won since Ken Martin in 1991.
His time of 32 minutes, 55 seconds was the slowest winning time since 1999, but Hall said he ran the race exactly as I wanted.
“I think we all work best when we ran our own way instead of adapting to other people,”he said.” Do not worry about what others are doing guys. I was running my own way, living with my own mission. A win that way sometimes and sometimes I end up in fourth place, as I did in Boston.”
Antonio Vega, who was fifth at Bix last year, was the broker pushing the early pace. He said he thought it might have been an advantage of up to 100 meters in the recovery McClellan Boulevard. James Carney, another veteran of Bix, tried to stay close to him early and Bauhs Scott, one of Hall’s training partner, came up with Vega at the fourth mile, but could not keep pace.
“But when I saw how big an advantage he had in his turn, he knew somebody was coming,”said Vega.
He said he tried to avoid looking back to watch the competition.
“I knew as soon as I started to look back, I was going to get more and more tired, and get increasingly worried,”he said.” I just tried to concentrate on what was in front of me.”
As the riders made the long uphill back up Kirkwood Boulevard, a T-shirt # 3 Vega left the peloton.
It was Hall. He took it in seconds and soon left behind, opening up an unassailable by the time the riders began the descent on Brady Street.
“It was for me with some authority, that’s for sure,”said Vega.
“He’s a strong runner so if all that is what I expected, so it really is open at the end.”
Vega eventually faded to fourth. Ed Moran of Williamsburg, Virginia, who won the U.S. 10k Championship just three weeks ago, finished second with Sean Quigley of Philadelphia third and fifth Carney.
Moran, considered the runner with the best chance to challenge Hall, said he did not feel like I was in his prime.
“To not feel very well, I think this is a pretty good finish,”he said.” I think that benefited from the slower pace … Some days you’re clicking on all cylinders and some days you’re not.”
Hall said he never considered himself the favorite despite the fact that almost everyone, including Keflezighi, had labeled as such.
“I’m just going on in my training, while these other types are in the midst of their season,”Hall said.” I’m working on my training for the accumulation of large to Chicago.”
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